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34 Snowmobile VERMONT Whos in the Groomer groomer but the barn and the property it is stored on as well.Dick has only missed ONE scheduled maintenance day in the past 22 years he had to attend his 60th wedding anniversary party that day June 20 2015 which his family was throwing for him and his wifeDolly.I would say he had a good reason for not being there Dick also gets all the permission forms signed each year and visits each and every landowner sometimes multiple times in order to catch them at home.He sends all one hundred landowners Christmas cards and calls each of them every Christmas Day to thank them for their generous use of their landon behalf of the Chester Snowmobile Club. For Dick its about building relationships.In my heart I believe some landowners may not be eager to sign that form every year but they do it for him When you have these personal relationships with your landowners they know they can call you. They know they wont just see or hear from you once a year for a signature. They know you and that goes a long way You can also thank Mr. Bigwood for one of the best signed VAST trail sections. He cares for putting up and taking down the signage every year. He does this on foot or with the use of his truck. For the larger landowners Dick Jewett will help him as needed. Dick Bigwood and Dick Jewett groom together every day except for Saturday when there is just too much sled traffic. Dick Bigwood received the VAST 2006 Groomer of the Year award Patty Companik photo On Saturday Dick Jewett goes out to groom the Western portion of the route beginning around 5 p.m.and returns to the barn around midnight. The Western portion of the route includes parts of route 12 121 35 and all of 11 11A. He fuels the Tucker in preparation of its next run.Around 1 a.m. Dick Bigwood arrives at the barn to start grooming the Northern portion of the route which he completes around 10 a.m. on Sunday. The northern portion of the route is route 12. During the week they groom together alternating the northern orwestern route each day. They put in eight hours on these alternating daily routes. The Chester Snowmobile Club is responsible for 59 corridor miles and 19 secondary miles.Both men take great care in grooming these miles. They both received a well-deserved Groomer of the Year award in 2006. Dick Bigwood was proudly wearing his 2006 Groomer of the Year jacket for our interview. I asked him about any challenges he has had grooming. It still bothers him that once three to four years ago he was unable to finish his route. He kept trying to make the hill but the Tucker kept rolling backwards. He had to cut back branches to untangle the Tucker and then back down the hill. Dick likes to do things right and not completing the route that night still haunts him. What does he like best about grooming He enjoys the solitude grooming with the radio on when its just him and the trails. It doesnt get much better than that. For Dick this isnt a job this is a lifestyle.The relationships he has built the care and maintenance for the equipment and the commitment to grooming is beyond words.He does all of this and more because it is truly what he enjoys doingHe is one of the kindest hardworking and dedicatedpeople that I have ever had the privilege and honor of meeting. Dave McFadden Alburg SnoSpringers by Beth Godin When you mention snowmobiling in Alburgh thats who they think of Alburg Sno Springers president Dave Ladd says about Trailmaster Dave McFadden. McFadden 70 joined the club in 1968. VAST founders Bill Mitzi Oakes had become club members one year earlier. He has volunteered in many capacities for the club ever since. He was treasurer for 23 years starting in 1985. His first snowmobile was a Evenrude Skeeter which he bought brand new in 1965 for 900 at Tudhope Marine in North Hero. He has had several others since then and continues to put the miles on. Last year he rode 1000 miles just in Alburg and a total of 3300 throughout Vermont and New York. Dave McFadden is well-known in town and around Vermont from his more than 40 years as a lineman with the Citizens Utilities Vermont Electric Cooperative where he sometimes snowmobiled to work on the power lines. Dave began helping with grooming in the 1980s using a homemade drag pulled by a Ski-Doo Alpine model snowmobile. Its single ski and double side-by-side track allowed it to easily traverse though deep snow and break trails after a fresh covering. The downfall was that at every road crossing the Alpine would get stuck as the drag would catch on the banks and get hung up. Over the years the club went through a series of other Dave stores one of the clubs Track Trucks at his home on the northern end of the trail system in Alburgh. Dave Ladd photo